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Long IslandEducation

Her clean water campaign started with a summer trip

Grace Crema of Our Lady of Mercy Academy says she learned potable water affects health and life

Grace Crema is a senior at Our Lady

Grace Crema is a senior at Our Lady of Mercy Academy. Photo Credit: Crema family

An Amityville teenager has launched a nonprofit organization to help bring clean drinking water to families in Cambodia.

Grace Crema, a senior at Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Syosset, started Clean Water Wishes in an effort to help purchase bio-sand water filters for homes and villages in the Southeast Asian nation. Funds will be sent to the Sao Sary Foundation in Cambodia to directly fund the filters’ construction and installation.

Crema, 17, got the idea after spending 2 1⁄2 weeks on service trips in Cambodia and Vietnam during the summer with 16 other teens through California-based Adventures Cross-Country.

“Coming back from the trip, I felt like it wasn’t a one-and-done for me; I wanted to continue to make a difference,” Crema said. The filters help prevent waterborne illness, which will in turn reduce medical bills and help more children afford an education, she added.

She has raised more than $1,000 through her nonprofit’s website since launching it in September and is planning a student talent show to bring in more for the cause. The $1,000 will fund more than 20 bio-sand water filters, she said.

Crema plays on her school’s junior varsity soccer team and is a member of Photography Club and French Honor Society. She volunteered at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park during the 2016-17 school year.

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